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Tag:Al Harrington
Posted on: December 25, 2008 2:41 pm
Edited on: December 25, 2008 2:43 pm
 

What I want from the Knicks for Christmas

I figured I'd drop a Christmas themed blog to state my Knicks wishes for the rest of the season, since the Knicks are enjoying their break from NBA action and not giving me a lot of on the court things to talk about. You will notice a running theme here in my wishes, clarity. As in, I would love to get some on a lot of topics. The mystery of the Knicks makes them fun, but good teams don't have question marks and good future plans are well defined, so let's hope for the sake of the franchise that some of these topics gain some much needed clarity in the near term.

1) Eddy Curry gift wrapped under someone else's Christmas tree

If Donnie Walsh is giving away Eddy Curry for his GM Secret Santa gift this year and wrapping him up in David Lee wrapping paper, I hope the GM that has Donnie Walsh's name is kind enough to give Donnie some useful or expiring contracts in return. The much rumored Curry/Lee for Diaw/Barbosa deal is not the answer, although it is an improvement over the current situation of the Knicks heading into 2010. But I can't seem to get my egg nog flowing for the idea of Diaw in 2010. There has to be a better answer in the market. Curry is a problem that needs to be solved, but much like a homeowner with a bad loan, there are ways of solving it that set you up nicely, and their are ways of solving it that are marked improvements, but still a bad mortgage. I hope Donnie Walsh does not get himself out of one problem and into another, albeit smaller, problem. Walsh has impressed me so far, the hiring of D'Antoni was a stroke of genius and I believe will lure the top free agents in 2010, but the Knicks need to get into the best possible situation they can for that time, and Diaw on the books in 2010 is sub-optimal. Hopefully the Knicks can weasel a Marion deal out of Miami yet and get the expiring contracts and Curry off the books that they crave. David Lee is playing himself into a player that is worthy of accepting an Eddy Curry bad contract for, and since Lee is not in the Knicks plans long term, here is hoping we use him to our benefit.

2) A well defined direction for the season, and soon

So, are the Knicks going to compete for the playoffs or not? The highs and lows of the season are a staple of early Knicks seasons, but this team seems to have just enough to steal the 7 or 8 seed if the breaks fall. But will the breaks the Knicks will need come, or will this be a team that does nothing more then lose ping pong balls in the draft? My love for Ricky Rubio is clear as day, but at least with a push to the playoffs, the Knicks could have some 2009 backup plans come to the forefront. Steve Nash on the cheap after this season would be a great move, as I think the Knicks need one star player to believe in the promise of 2010 before LeBron becomes a free agent and sign with the Knicks on cap-friendly terms. Remember, Duhon is nothing more then an overachieving stopgap at the point guard until the Knicks get some superstars in the Garden, and then can find a superstar point guard to run the show. If it's in the draft or in free agency, the Knicks will let us know soon what direction their season will go, and based on how the season goes, that is how the Knicks will find their point guard of the future. So wins today increase the chances of Nash tomorrow, while losses today increase the chances of a rookie PG in the 2009 draft class. At least in my opinion

3) A hint on the direction of Nate Robinson

One thing is becoming clear lately, NBA players LOVE Nate Robinson. He is wildly popular with his peers, and it's not just token lip service. I fully expected Lee and Robinson to be on their last years in NY coming into this season as the Knicks look ahead to 2010, but maybe there is something to locking up little Nate long-term. He is actually an attractive piece for NBA superstars to play with. Couple this with the fact that Lee is being shopped more then Nate is these days, and I think Nate is a serious possibility for the Knicks future. Do I think you can win with Nate Robinson playing major minutes? I think he's a detriment to a winning team in a big role, his D can be suspect and he takes a lot of shots, but he is high energy. I'd rather he was gone in the future outside his intangibles, but if he can really be a serious selling point for big names in 2010, then I say whatever it takes to get a serious contender in 2010 is what should be going on now. If nothing else, you can do far worse then Nate Robinson playing minutes for your NBA team, that is for sure. Hopefully the Knicks actions or lack thereof will bring some clarity to the Robinson situation in the coming weeks.

4) A taste of the future, Chandler and Gallinari together on the court

Danilo "Old Country" Gallinari has suffered through back issues this season, leading many people to write him off already as a bust, which is wickedly unfair. Just ask Wilson Chandler, who sat the bench almost all of last season only to emerge this season as, well, as what? That is the part of the question here. Who is Wilson Chandler? Is he nothing more then a Channing Frye? Is he as good as Travis Outlaw (a very underrated player in my opinion)? Does he have the game to become a poor mans Danny Granger? Any of these situations is very possible. If you think the Granger name drop is out of line, think twice. If Chandler can just tack on another 6% or so from the arc, he could be a 18/5 small forward. And Gallinari should be a very interesting watch if he comes back this season, and if he comes back to a team without Lee, Danilo is going to get a real test. But these two are going to be around in 2010, and I expect the last part of this season and a lot of 2009-2010 to be all about these two, more so if/when Harrington opts out after this season.

5) Patrick Ewing Jr. in a Knicks uniform

Nothing more needs to be added. Sign the kid, he earned it in the preseason. This kid can learn more from D'Antoni, Rose, and Thomas then he can in the NBDL.

6) Health

The Knicks are very enjoyable to watch this season, they are giving a ton of effort most every night and are learning how to win in the Association. They have battled injuries to Lee and Robinson and Gallinari and others. If this team stays healthy, then I know I will be getting a good show every time I throw the Knicks on TV, and maybe get a chance to see a bunch of overachieves make a push for the playoffs. With a bad injury, this Knicks team will sitting ducks for the rest of the NBA. Above all else this season, I'd like to see my crew have a punchers chance the rest of the year.

Merry Christmas everyone!
Posted on: December 15, 2008 1:40 am
Edited on: December 15, 2008 1:43 am
 

Review/Preview Knicks 114-90 Kings, Mon NYK @ PHX

Well, the most telling exam of the Knicks early schedule is almost over, and the Knicks are coming very close to shocking all us long-suffering Knicks fans and scoring a solid B. As I have previously mentioned, the Knicks had to get out of the first 4 games of this road trip at 3-1 to get to .500 before they play the Lakers Tuesday. After a loss in the opening road game to Chicago in a game the Knicks could have won and maybe should have won, prospects looked bleak. But after two straight ROAD wins (road cannot be emphasized enough when you have seen the Knicks lose so many road games in the last 7 years), the Knicks just have to beat Phoenix on Monday, and I will declare this trip a success. The Knicks are rounding into form, Harrington is playing like a beast, the defense is playing pretty well at times, and the Knicks actually are looking like a 7 or 8 seed in the East.

Review: New York Knicks 121-109 Sacramento Kings

- What a dominant first quarter! The Knicks jumped all over the Kings on the glass, from the arc, and with great ball movement. If I remember right the Knicks had a 13-2 rebounding advantage after 1 quarter to go with their 43-21 lead. I hinted that I expected the Knicks to actually win the rebounding battle when I picked the Knicks to beat the Kings as an underdog in my last blog, and that was the key to a Knicks rout.  It was a laugher after that dominant 1st quarter, and a mighty fine one at that. I hope you enjoyed it Knicks fans, I don't know how often that Jeffries is going to drive down the lane for a thunderous dunk or Jerome James is going to get 2 points and a steal (If you can call it a steal, more like the ball found his hands and stuck).

- Al Harrington, what can you say? 33 points with 6 boards, 5 threes, and 4 dimes. The Kings cut the New York rout to 12 late in the 3rd, but Harrington dropped in a few big shots in a row and the game was never again in any sort of question. Let the record show that I was one of the first on the Al Harrington as an Eastern Conference All-Star train, because that thing is about to start getting crowded with people, and I want my seat in the first class section.

- Lee looked great after leaving the Nets game, dropping 17 points with 19 boards, and Nate shot over 50% on 15 shots to add 19 points. Duhon and Chandler struggled all game, Duhon only ending with 5 dimes and 10 points and Chandler having a bad day from the field, but it was great to see the Knicks win without it's emerging point guard and small forward doing much. Hopefully both with have a better game on Monday, both will be vital to the Knicks success against Phoenix.

Preview: New York Knicks (+8.5) at Phoenix Suns, Monday 9:00 pm EST

D'Antoni returns to Phoenix. Nothing more needs to be said, but I still will add a bit. Nash's reaction to D'Antoni's return will be telling to those of you in my camp that think that the Knicks possible ten million in cap room if/when Harrington opts out after this season could be a prelude to Nash wearing the Orange and Blue. Shaq is questionable with his family issues last I heard. And it will interesting to see how Stat matches up with Lee, Amare has such a huge talent advantage, but Lee has tons more heart then Amare does. If Amare doesn't come to play (and this happens a lot, he's on my fantasy team so I know all too well hahaha), the Knicks could have some success working inside/outside and off the pick and roll. J-Rich will be in line for a monster game, he likes to kill the Knicks. Shutting him down will be key. Chandler will get a test from the cagey vet Hill. It should be a fun one, but it could get ugly if the Suns all show up and lock down the glass.

Knicks-centric stats match-up:

Again: Since the Knicks are a team that runs the D'Antoni offense, posting typical team offensive/defensive stats is pretty silly. I will use offensive and defensive efficiency, a.k.a. how many points a team scores and allows per 100 possessions. Hopefully this will give people a better idea on how teams will stack up against the unique style the Knicks offer.

Knicks on offense:

Knicks offensive efficiency: 103.8 points/100 (17th in the NBA)
Suns defensive efficiency: 106.8 points/100 (24th in the NBA)

Knicks on defense:

Suns offensive efficiency: 107.9 points/100 (4th in the NBA)
Knicks defensive efficiency: 105.8 points/100 (23rd in the NBA)

Knicks fantasy focus (attempting to appear every Monday, made for weekly lineup roto players):

Knicks weekly schedule: (4 games) at Phx, at LAL, Mil, at Bos


Knicks start of the week: Wilson Chandler - Chandler is owned in 85 percent of CBS leagues but started in only 56 percent. On a 4 game week where the Knicks play two superstar teams, Chandler's mid-range game is the Knicks best chance to get some production against the NBA elite. Chandler looks for his own shot and knows how to score, and he can get you a fair amount of boards from the 3 spot. I start Chandler every week, but if you own him, this is not a week to be scared of  his tough 4 game slate, he will take his shots and be productive.

Predicted weekly stat line: 17 ppg, 1.25 3's per game, 6 rpg, 3apg, 1spg, 1bpg, average shooting % and ++ FT% (Chandler is about 85% from the line since opening night, a great trait from your 3)

Knicks sit of the week: Nate Robinson if you have better options. You might not have a choice but to start all your Knicks this week, but if you got options outside Nate, consider them. Robinson has had average to poor games so far this season vs. Milwaukee and Boston, hitting few 3's, getting few dimes, and struggling with his shot %. Nate did grab 10 boards vs. Milwaukee last time out, but that is not to be expected. LA will be a very tough game for Nate as well, so don't feel like you just can't sit Nate this week, you can if you have a better option. He is more of a #4 guard this week in fantasy then his usual #3 status.

Knicks cut of the week: Tim Thomas. I did. He's just too streaky in his minutes and production. He will anger you by scoring 6 points with 2 boards when you start him and getting 24 and 10 when you don't. Avoid the headache!

Psst! Hey Donnie Walsh!

This is the section where I usually will take the Knicks next opponent and suggest a legal NBA trade that is feasible for both teams and achieves the Knicks primary objectives moving forward, which are to move Eddy Curry, move Jared Jeffries, or maybe get something for Marbury. Phoenix is wheeling and dealing, but they have a team with very few expendable contracts right now. Everyone on Phoenix is either getting paid or not getting paid, and the only exception, Barbosa, is on a 3 year deal, usually something the Knicks don't want. However...

Knicks get: Leandro Barbosa ($6.1 million/3 years), Grant Hill (2 million/1 year)
Suns get: Jared Jeffries ($6 million/3 years), Nate Robinson (2 million/1 year)

Might just work. Right now the Knicks just have Curry and Jeffries on the books for 2010 for sure, and an option on Chandler and Danilo they will surly exercise. Ideally the Knicks would use Nate and maybe Lee to move Jeffries or Curry for an expiring contract to add to the 2010 cap space. But what if the Knicks just swap out Jeffries bad 2010 contract for Barbosa's good contract? Barbosa could help the Knicks by playing a solid 2, knowing D'Antoni's system, and spelling Duhon at the point, something the Knicks lack. Grant Hill could be a great mentor to Chandler. The Suns get Jared Jeffries, who is tall and plays D, and Nate Robinson, who could be part of the Suns future after Nash leaves. I think if you told Suns fans they could get rid of Barbosa, who is pretty useless as a Sub these days now that Jason Richardson is in town, and get a young player like Nate Robinson, they would be happy with the deal. And Barbosa would help the Knicks win now, and with enough playing time and shots, could easily be dealt for the same cap space that the Knicks would have dealt Jeffries for, or even kept and be considered a player that someone like a LeBron would want to play with. It's a pretty decent deal for both sides, and I for one would love for Chandler to get 60 games to learn from Grant Hill, he is a big part of the Knicks future and anything to help his progress, the better.

Knicks Prediction:

Amare (and Shaq if he plays) will decide this game. We know Nash will cut Duhon up, get some clean looks, and create clean looks for Richardson. We know the Knicks will probably get a good game out of Harrington and Chandler and Tim Thomas. But if Lee can match Amare down low, the Knicks will be in it late, and maybe with a lead. I have said a few times this year that I think the Suns are an awful team. They have a good offense and no D, but they don't play to their strengths, and I feel their record is a lot of smoke and mirrors. Amare isn't very dominant at times, and if Lee can start off frustrating Amare, the Knicks could dominate the paint on the inside. This is a very winnable game for the Knicks, and the Suns are still getting used to a new rotation, which doesn't help. I think it will be close, and I want to say the Knicks win, but I know this is New York on the road for the 4th straight game. I have to see this win to believe it, and previous history with New York forces my hand and I have to predict...

Suns 112-Knicks 107 (season record: 5-1 straight up, 3-3 ATS)

Thanks for reading
Posted on: December 12, 2008 5:19 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2008 1:45 am
 

Review/Preview Knicks 121-109 Nets, Sat NYK @ Sac

After battling Chicago down to the wire earlier in the week on the road and letting a winnable game slip away (Hey Derrick Rose, wish you would have closed out that last game at Memphis like you did my Knicks! Hey I'm a Memphis Tigers fan, I have to throw a bitter shot here.), the Knicks gave every impression that they would continue their recent trends of not having the energy to compete on the second nights of back to backs and struggling on the road. New Jersey blitzed New York and was up 15 before you knew what happened. Then David Lee got hurt. And we all know New Jersey has had the Knicks number in recent years. So naturally...

Review: New York Knicks 121-109 New Jersey Nets

Oh snap! Knicks win an Atlantic road game for the first time in what feels like 5 years without Nate Robinson or much from Lee. Al Harrington is a beast, and he looks to be rounding into form better then anyone expected. We all know how rusty Harrington looked vs. the Cavs in his first game back. Since then all Harrington has done is drop 25 or more 5 out of 8 games, hit at least 2 threes in every game, and grab an average of something like 8 boards with only 2.5 turnovers a game in the fast paced Knicks style. Harrington dropped 39 on the Nets, and he is taking over the role of Randolph AND Crawford to the best of his ability. Al Harrington is going to be an even BIGGER part of the Knicks O if Lee is out for a game or two, he may run the pick and roll play that leads to Lee's easy buckets. Can Harrington actually make the Eastern Conference All Star team???

Tim Thomas also went into beast mode during Harrington and Thomas' homecoming to the great landfill that is New Jersey, dropping a season high 26 with 5 threes made, leading my fantasy baskeball team's bench to a strong night. Duhon had a double double, Jefferies continued to turn the ball over a lot and look silly on the court, and Q Rich continued to miss a lot of shots

The story of the night from where I sat, however, was Wilson Chandler. This kid is a stud! 24 points on 10-12 shooting and 9 boards. This goes with his 11-12 shooting night he had earier this season. And Chandler is not a guy that gets dunks or even many driving lay-ups. By my unofficial count, Chandler got 3 layups, a tip, shot 5-6 on mid range jumpers, and 1-2 from the arc. Chandler has one of the nicest mid-range jumpers in the league, it looks better then even Randolph's looked when Randolph was on. Now Chandler will force his shot when he is covered and he is known to throw up the occasional ugly airball, but frankly I remember a lot of other current NBA superstars forcing their shots when they were young. Chandler is going to be a good one. He might put up 20 a game next season, and I don't think that is too wild of a guess considering the current makeup of the Knicks 2009-2010 roster.

The girl that works the Nets sideline is HOT! This deserves mention.

Also of note, Cuttino Mobley retired. I wish him well with his health issues. But, check this out....

Psst! Hey Donnie Walsh!

This is the section where I usually will take the Knicks next opponent and suggest a legal NBA trade that is feasible for both teams and achieves the Knicks primary objectives moving forward, which are to move Eddy Curry, move Jared Jeffries, or maybe get something for Marbury. But today, we will discuss the significance of Cuttino Mobley's medical injury retirement. Because Mobley retired and never passed his physical, the Knicks only have to count something like 1.5 million against the cap both this year AND next year. This actually will put the Knicks at 60 million dollars of cap room next season. Now that is still just over the cap, but if Harrington opts out after this season (10 million owed, but if he keeps dropping 20+ a night in NY, he could attract some serious interest after this year to the tune of 16 million plus), the Knicks suddendly find themselves with cap room in 2009-2010. Would the Knicks use it? Maybe. They could use it to lock up David Lee and/or Nate Robinson to cap-friendly but larger deals, or even make a run at Nash if he opts out next season, which I think might just happen. Why get Nash when you have Duhon? Well, have you seen the Kidd/Barea lineup Dallas uses? It looks good to me, I really like it. We all know Nash is super unhappy and may opt out after this year, and if the Knicks could lock him up for 4 years at reasonable terms (hometown discount? He does live in NY in the offseason), Nash could help attract star players in 2010. Hey, you heard the idea here first!
 

Preview: New York Knicks (+3) at Sacramento Kings, Saturday 10:00 pm EST

I know the following things about the Kings. Their announcers are horrible. The girl that works their sidelines I used to think was about as hot as the NBA had until I saw the Nets girl Wednesday. Kevin Martin can score. That's about it.

Nah, ok, I'm kidding. John Salmons is having a really good year, the Kings have some clowns in the post, and I think Mikki Moore is on that team. Now that's about it.

Knicks-centric stats match-up:

Again: Since the Knicks are a team that runs the D'Antoni offense, posting typical team offensive/defensive stats is pretty silly. I will use offensive and defensive efficiency, a.k.a. how many points a team scores and allows per 100 possessions. Hopefully this will give people a better idea on how teams will stack up against the unique style the Knicks offer.

Knicks on offense:

Knicks offensive efficiency: 103.4 points/100 (18th in the NBA)
Kings defensive efficiency: 109.9 points/100 (29th in the NBA)

Knicks on defense:

Kings offensive efficiency: 101.0 points/100 (22nd in the NBA)
Knicks defensive efficiency: 106.8 points/100 (24th in the NBA)


Knicks Prediction:

The Kings don't stop anyone, and they don't score. The Knicks never win the rebounding battle, but there might be a first time for everything. The Kings have a huge advantage of being at home, because when is the last time you remember the Knicks winning two straight road games? Well, it's the New York Knicks, with the emphasis on the New. Not only is this a game the Knicks can win, this is a game the Knicks MUST win if they expect to compete for that 8 seed this season. I think they can and will. Nate and Lee are questionable, but the Knicks showed they got plenty of offense without those two, and with them, it only gets easier. I'll predict..

Knicks 118-Kings 111 (season record: 4-1 straight up, 2-3 ATS)

Thanks for reading!
Posted on: December 8, 2008 5:58 pm
 

Review/Preview Knicks 104-92 DET, Tues NYK @ CHI

A unique situation has occupied my time in the last few days, so I have not got to follow the Knicks as religiously as I tend to. Which is a shame after Sunday's performance

Review: New York Knicks 104-92 Detroit Pistons


I got nothing I can really add from my unique view of the game, as I was busy working out a nice deal in my personal life over on the left coast. My personal life (I guess it's my job, more like my method of earning income) is boring to everyone else and I won't even bother to try to give you guys any context, but let's just say it takes some very unique circumstances to keep me from watching the Knicks. Will I be pulled away by the whims of fate and opportunity again this season? Maybe. But let's just sum up some very generic points, instead of giving you some in depth look at how the Knicks played that goes beyond the standard boxscore, I'll go straight fanboy.

- KNICKS WIN!!!!!!

- Detroit is a struggling team since the AI trade, but let's face it, they are a talented team on paper with size. The Knicks dominated the game and may be coming into form with their speed and small ball. Lee is becoming a force on the boards and Duhon, when he is on, can keep the Knicks in big games.

- Knicks are going on the road for 5 straight games. It's Chicago, New Jersey, Sacremento, Phoenix, and the Lakers. The Knicks are 9-11 at the moment, and these first 4 winnable games of the road trip (Yes, at Phoenix is winnable. Phoenix stinks, trust me) with go a long way to defining this season. The Knicks are a talented bunch with a lot of youth and a lot of vets, still working on cohesion and learning how to win. The Knicks have been awful on the road for years, but need to start this road trip out hot if they have any dreams of making the playoffs. Can the Knicks go 3-1 and get to LA with a .500 record? They sure can. Will they? It's highly highly doubtful. But's it's possible and the thought will entertain the thoughts of Knicks fans for the next week's worth of games.

- Look forward to the reintroduction of intellegent basketball discussion in this section after the Chicago game, when I can witness it with my own two eyes.

Preview: New York Knicks (+8) at Chicago Bulls, Tuesday 8:30 pm EST

This is going to be a really fun game. Duhon returns to Chicago to face a stud rookie PG in Derrick Rose. Rose should have his way off the dribble, but the Knicks will have a big advantage down low with Lee and Harrington. The play of Q Rich and Chandler will be essential to any chances the Knicks have of walking out with a win on Tuesday. The Knicks are going to need to hit threes from both guys, and get drible penetration from Chandler to give the Knicks a threat on the drive outside Duhon and Harrington. This one is going to be real enjoyable, I hope all Knicks fans and casual fans of the NBA make the time to tune this one in.

Knicks-centric stats match-up:

Again: Since the Knicks are a team that runs the D'Antoni offense, posting typical team offensive/defensive stats is pretty silly. I will use offensive and defensive efficiency, a.k.a. how many points a team scores and allows per 100 possessions. Hopefully this will give people a better idea on how teams will stack up against the unique style the Knicks offer.

Knicks on offense:

Knicks offensive efficiency: 102.9 points/100 (19th in the NBA)
Bulls defensive efficiency: 103.0 points/100 (13th in the NBA)

Knicks on defense:

Bulls offensive efficiency: 100.4 points/100 (23rd in the NBA)
Knicks defensive efficiency: 107.1 points/100 (25h in the NBA)

My prediction and some more fun about the game will come tomorrow, but I wanted to put together a  post before then after the Pistons win. Enjoy this week in the NBA everybody!
Posted on: November 30, 2008 1:17 am
 

Review/Preview: NYK 138-125 GSW, Tue. NYK vs. POR

First, a quick self-high-five. I wrote about the Knicks game against Golden State "I think the Warriors will have tired legs after this long road trip (4th road game in 5 days), give up a ton of easy buckets to the Knicks inside, and answer back with quick scores of their own, but it will not be enough." How good am I? Never mind I predicted a 4 point Knicks win when instead the Knicks blew the Warriors out of the water, just focus on the first half of my prediction that worked out really well .

Review: New York Knicks 138-125 Golden State Warriors

Wow. What a way to even up the Knicks' record to 8-8! The Knicks caught a Warriors team at the right time, tired off the end of a East coast trip, and took full advantage of the situation. Let's just get right to it.

37 points, 21 rebounds on 16-29 shooting. David Lee was the man that benefited the most from the superior play of Chris Duhon. Many people will see that D'Antoni said that Lee should have had 50 points and laugh it off like Coach is just being silly. But it could not be more true! Lee got about 8 slams and missed a lot of shots deep inside. Lee did snatch 8 offensive boards, some off his own misses, but 50 was a totally reachable number for Lee tonight. Lee was blocked 3 times as well, preventing his monster game from growing bigger. It's no sweat to David Lee fantasy owners, but Knicks fans are right to look at 37 and 21 and think what might hae been in my opinion.

- How does David Lee get 8 dunks and a ton of inside shots? How did the Knicks get about 16 dunks as a team? Chris Duhon. 22 dimes, a Knicks record. Wow. Chris Duhon is really coming into his own as the point guard of the Knicks, gaining serious praise from Don Nelson after the game. From the AP writeup of the Knicks/Warriors game: “I think Duhon is the story tonight. Wow, what a player,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said. “Been watching him on film and seeing him on videos, but seeing him in person is another story. Guy’s got the whole package. He looked like Steve Nash out there. Unbelievable performance.". And to think Duhon sat out of practice with a bad back leading up to this game!

- Who needs Nate Robinson? The Knicks play 7 players, including preseason 12th man Anthony Roberson (well, ok, Jerome James is the 12th man now and forever, but you get my point), and shoot over 51% on 105 shots, and hit 13 of 27 from the arc. Al Harrington hit 5 of 7 from the arc to key his 36 and 12 performance, 

- 43 points in the second quarter, 82 points in the first half. Knick records (as was the previously mentioned Duhon's 22 assists). Mind-boggling numbers.

- No comment on the fact the Knicks blew up as soon as Marbury left the bench. Also no comment on my fearless fantasy prediction of a double double for Tim Thomas against the Warriors flaming out as Thomas got 15 and 9. You couldn't get one more rebound and make me look like a genius, Tim?

Preview: New York Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers, Tuesday, 7:30 pm EST

Portland is 11-6 on the year, 7-0 at home and 4-6 on the road. They will play Detroit Sunday before Tuesday's game vs. the Knicks at the World's Most Famous Arena. Marbury is meeting with Donnie Walsh on Monday, and I will more fully recap this game with the Knick-centric stats match-up, a Knicks fantasy preview for the week ahead, and my predicted Knicks/Blazers score when I report on the results of the meeting. If I had to make a Marbury prediction now, I would say Marbury is playing in Dallas by next week, but we will see.

Psst! Hey Donnie Walsh!

This is the section where I usually will take the Knicks next opponent and suggest a legal NBA trade that is feasible for both teams and achieves the Knicks primary objectives moving forward, which are to move Eddy Curry, move Jared Jeffries, or do somethink to entice LBJ. These are by no way rumors or even .0001% likely to happen, this is just me having fun, and will hopefully spur a bit of discussion. We arn't waiting to do this section, because the Blazers have the granddaddy of all trading tokens, The All-Mighty Raef LaFrentz's expiring contract. I cannot express enough how much I covet the Knicks to aquire this free cap space, I am dead serious. This thing is the key to the Knicks dreams in 2010. With this cap space, the Knicks can do wonders in 2010, sign solid role players to match the two max contrats they hope to give out, like New York City resident and aging veteran chasing a ring who would give a stacked Knicks team a home discount Steve Nash. Here is my best trade to get it:

Knicks get: The All-Mighty Raef LaFrentz's expiring contract!!!, 2010 1st round draft pick

Blazers get: Eddy Curry, Nate Robinson

Knicks sign Patrick Ewing Jr. to fill the roster out

This is a dream trade for me. The Blazers get insurance for Greg "Owwww!" Oden, and the real reason Portland does this trade is so they can go ahead and make the rumored deal with Memphis that has the Blazers trading Outlaw, Fernandez, and who knows what else for Mike Conley and Hakim Warrick and I don't know what. if I wanted to be complicated, I would make this a three team trade to bypass trade restrictions on Robinson and ship him right to the Griz and then Portland and Memphis can fill the rest of it out with whatever they want it to look like, but we can leave it at this for the purpose of the blog. But my point is these two things:

1) Donnie Walsh is not doing his job if he is not trying to interject himself into these ongoing Portland/Memphis talks and trying to get Curry off the books and pick up The All-Mighty Raef LaFrentz's expiring contract in return

2) Donnie Walsh needs to get Patrick Ewing Jr. on this team. The Knicks are playing 7 guys and the Garden craves Ewing Jr. Spike Lee says the Knicks have been cursed since Ewing left. Let's appease Spike and get a Ewing back in orange and blue. Ewing Jr. would be beyond fun to watch right now for the banged up Knicks.

Know the Knicks/Predict the Knicks:

Here is how it works. I will post a trivia question about something Knicks related. Post your guess as a comment below on the blog (after you are done berating my Knicks coverage, of course!) AND post a final score for the Knicks/Trail Blazers game. Also, try to say something funny/clever. I will try to do this every time the Knicks have some time before their next game. I will do a new post Monday after Walsh meets with Marbury and hopefully trades Eddy Curry to the Blazers and then post my pick and the pick of whoever got this answer correct, posted a final score, and I decided to choose for no good reason. I will keep track of the readers picks vs. my own and we will see who gets bragging rights at the end of the year!

Trivia Question (answer from now through all afternoon Tuesday!):

Who's Knicks assist record did Chris Duhon break with 22 dimes against the Warriors on Saturday night?

Prediction record: (2-0 straight up, 1-1 ATS)

Enjoy the weekend!

Posted on: November 27, 2008 11:23 am
 

Review/Preview Detroit 110-96, NYK Sat NYK vs GSW

Well, I predicted a 109-99 win for the Pistons, so 110-96 was pretty darn close. That was about all I had to be excited about as a Knicks fan, however, at least while the game is on. I am excited for the holidays, however, and hope that everybody out there is able to enjoy a Thanksgiving full of good food and good times. As I wait for the family to gather today, I figured I will put out the Review/Preview Thanksgiving morning, because I have the time to write it, and it will give Knicks fans and NBA fans all of the long weekend to stumble upon it at their leisure. So let’s get right to the Detroit game.

Review: Detroit Pistons 110 - 96 New York Knicks

Coming off a brutal loss to Minnesota, Detroit was fired up and ready to go, and the difference in talent and coherision between the two teams was evident on the court from the second quarter on. Detroit looked to be on a mission to get a home NBA win, while the Knicks looked to be on a mission of gaining experience playing with each other, shaking the rust off of Al Harrington’s shot, and getting Harrington and Thomas more involved in the offense.

 

-  Hopefully Al Harrington’s game is just really rusty. He had 25 points on 8-24 shooting, but most of his 8 makes were from close range. Harrington was 2-7 from behind the arc and was blocked twice, he doesn’t have an explosive vertical. However, he can take comfort in the fact that all the Knicks’ starters were blocked at least one time. Well, not really.

- The Knicks were outscored 26-13 in points off turnovers, out assisted 28-19, and outshot by about 13%. These things will get you beat in the National Basketball Association. However the Knicks did a fairly decent job on the boards, matching Detroit in interior scoring, and in the turnover count.

- The loss of Nate Robinson reared it’s ugly head, as the Knicks guards only took 27 of the 85 total shots. Anthony Roberson and Q-Rich had subpar games, Chris Duhon had one less point then Richardson and Roberson did combined, and Duhon did it on 8 of the 27 aformentioned shots and added 9 dimes.

- David Lee’s 17 points and 15 boards was a decent showing, as Lee was able to shoot 6 of 11, with a couple dunks, a couple inside hoops, and hit a couple medium range two pointers including a nice baseline shot while the Knicks were battling to stay in the game early. The medium range 2 for Lee will have to continue to improve for Lee to become a weapon on the offensive end in the D’Antoni system, but it seems that Lee will get his chance to hone his game from 12 to 18 feet as the season goes on.

- No comment on the Marbury situation. I stated he wouldn’t play despite the fact the Knicks were short handed at the guard spot, and I am the opposite of surprised that this story is back in the news. Much like Q-Rich, I don’t consider Marbury a Knick, and I don’t feel he deserves more then a casual mention buried in the middle of a Review/Preview until something changes.

Preview: New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors, Saturday 7:30 pm EST

Jamal Crawford returns to MSG, and brings a 5-10 Golden State team to the Garden to face the 7-8 New York Knicks. The Warriors are giving up some serious points as they travel East, giving up 124 in a 24 point loss at Washington Tuesday, and 119 in a 8 point loss at Boston Wednesday night. The Warriors stay out on the road, playing at Cleveland Friday before heading to the World’s Most Famous Arena for a Saturday night game with the Knicks. If you do the math on this schedule, that is 4 road games in 5 days for the Warriors, all of them very far away from California, and it ends at MSG against a team that will have had the last two days off. This is as good a spot for the Knicks as you can have, and nothing short of a solid win will be acceptable for Knicks fans (at least those that are not setting the world record for looking forward to the 2009 NBA draft).

 

Knicks-centric stats match-up:

Again: Since the Knicks are a team that runs the D'Antoni offense, posting typical team offensive/defensive stats is pretty silly. I will use offensive and defensive efficiency, a.k.a. how many points a team scores and allows per 100 possessions. Hopefully this will give people a better idea on how teams will stack up against the unique style the Knicks offer. All stats are as of Thanksgiving Day.

Knicks on offense:

Knicks offensive efficiency: 102.9 points/100 (16th in the NBA)
Warriors defensive efficiency: 106.3 points/100 (26th in the NBA)

Knicks on defense:

Warriors offensive efficiency: 102.7 points/100 (17th in the NBA)
Knicks defensive efficiency: 107.3 points/100 (27th in the NBA)

Psst! Hey Donnie Walsh!

This is the section where I usually will take the Knicks next opponent and suggest a legal NBA trade that is feasible for both teams and achieves the Knicks primary objectives moving forward, which are to move Eddy Curry, move Jared Jeffries, or maybe get something for Marbury. These are by no way rumors or even .0001% likely to happen, this is just me having fun, and will hopefully spur a bit of discussion. However, the Knicks just did a deal with the Warriors. I’ll take a pass on this section for the Warriors game, instead unveiling a new section to Review/Preview…

Know the Knicks/Predict the Knicks:

Here is how it works. I will post a trivia question about something Knicks related. Post your guess as a comment below on the blog (after you are done berating my Knicks coverage, of course!) AND post a final score for the Knicks/Warriors game. Also, try to say something funny/clever. I will try to do this every time the Knicks have some time before their next game. I will do a quick update edit to this blog on Saturday and post my pick and the pick of whoever got this answer correct, posted a final score, and I decided to choose for no good reason. I will keep track of the readers picks vs. my own and we will see who gets bragging rights at the end of the year!

 

Trivia Question (answer from now through all day Friday!):

What team did the Knicks beat in the game the NBA reconigises as the first game in NBA history?

Prediction record: (1-0 straight up, 0-1 ATS)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Posted on: November 25, 2008 7:11 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2008 7:31 pm
 

Say hello to the new look New York Knicks

With the cap-clearing-for-LeBron Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas trade officially approved by GM Donnie Walsh Tuesday afternoon, the New York Knicks will have a much different look heading into tonight’s game at MSG against, ironically, LeBron James and the Cavs. Much has been made about the ramifications this trade has on the future of the Knicks, but not very much has been made about how this will change the play on the court for the Knicks for the rest of this season. Knicks fans are riding a wave of emotions, excited for the future, tepid about the present, and will get a lot of clarity on what can be expected on the court during the 2009 season tonight (and hopefully, from this read!).

 

Coach D’Antoni has insisted he believes the Knicks will put a strong product on the court this season, but what else is he supposed to say? By re-working the depth chart and making educated guesses as to what we can expect from D’Antoni’s 8-9 rotation this season, hopefully we can get an idea on how competitive the Knicks will be going forward and how truthful D’Antoni’s statements are.

 

Guards:

 

For sure, Chris Duhon will continue to man the point. Even the most pessimistic Knicks fan has to be pleased with Duhon’s play in the first 13 games of the season (and count me in the camp that was skeptical of Duhon before this season started). Duhon is averaging 10 points and 7 dimes a night, and seems to have found his role in the offense over the last 7 games. Duhon plays the first half in the role of team leader and distributor, but is not afraid to make a big drive or take a big three in the 4th quarter. He is sneaky on the offensive end (shooting as well as he has in his career) and playing solid D, his defensive rebounds and steal totals are also above his career averages. Perhaps some of this is due to the increase in possessions that comes with the D’Antoni system, but Duhon is passing the eye test.

 

Nate Robinson is expected by some to start at the two guard for the Knicks moving forward. This should be the most pivotal factor moving forward for the Knicks. Nate Robinson is currently the leading scorer left on the Knicks roster, and he will have to maintain his production while seeing his minutes likely increase from just under 31 to something like 38-40. Robinson is shooting lights out from the field, and I have questions as to if 47% shooting is anything close to sustainable for the rest of the year. One thing is for sure, Nate will be going all out and making hustle plays, even if he plays the entire game one night. He has a motor that just does not stop, and if he can move to the shooting guard role and maintain his ability to distribute (4.5 assists/game), he could be a scoring option at the two guard that doesn’t fall into the trap of being an offensive black hole at times (See: Crawford, Jamal). As sad as I am that my 3 month old Crawford #11 Knicks jersey won’t be seeing much time at the bars this winter, Nate Robinson could be a great silver lining. He is a restricted free agent after this season, and a hot couple months could create some buzz around the league, and he may become a piece that is attractive enough to some teams that they would accept him to take on the burden of Eddy Curry’s contract. Nate is the man to watch for the Knicks in the next couple weeks in my opinion, as the implications of his play will be felt in the short and long term.

 

Cuttino Mobley is someone who you could ask 5 NBA experts about and they will give you 5 different opinions about his current game. Some say he is a good defender, some say those days are far behind him. He is not expected to play tonight. My opinion is that it may surprise a lot of people how infrequently that Mobley is used by the Knicks. He is a scorer off the bench, a good free throw shooter and a guy that can hit the open 3, but he is not in the Knicks long term plans in any way, shape or form, and he cannot complete with Malik Rose for the veteran minutes used to teach the young Knicks toughness, grit, or other intangibles. I expect his 33 minutes a game to be cut in half at least, you have to expect that the Knicks will be working on seeing if Wilson Chandler can play the shooting guard at this league, and also give Quentin Richardson a few minutes at the 2.

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Forwards:

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Quentin Richardson and Wilsonn Chandler will continue to hold down the three, and both may see some time at the 2. After the trades, the Knicks were playing 7 handed, and Chandler was forced to create his own offense. In my observation, this had mixed success. However, Chandler is young with a large motor, and will continue to get opportunities to be a primary scorer on occasions. I feel D’Antoni will continue to try to develop Chandler as a scorer you can trust in this league, and he plays as good defense right now as anyone on the Knicks. Quentin Richardson has always been a guy the Knicks love to use in the first quarter for the Knicks, and I don’t think his role will change in any foreseeable way.

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Al Harrington and Tim Thomas will try to replace the surprising performance that Zach Randolph was giving the Knicks on their way to a 7-6 start. Walsh loves Harrington, and you cannot write Harrington off when you think of the Knicks in the long term. D’Antoni knows who the boss is, and Harrington will be worked into the offense. Will he stall the offense as Zach did on occasions, or will he make quick decisions and get the guards involved? I can’t even pretend to have this answer, and compared to Nate Robinson, Harrington will be just slightly less important to the short term success of the Knicks. Knicks fans know exactly what you get out of Tim Thomas, but just to refresh some memories, Thomas is 6 foot 10, he is going to see some time at the 4 and the 5, and his rebounding numbers should improve a lot. Tim Thomas is going to have to play some really solid defense and get some putback baskets for the Knicks to hope to compete against the top teams in the NBA. 

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Center: 

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David Lee, say hello to serious pressure. Lee thrived in his previous role of 30 minutes a game split between the 4 and 5, but I expect D’Antoni to challenge Lee after this trade, and give him 36 minutes defending the center. This could be done for two reasons. Firstly, to allow the Knicks to see how exactly Lee will fit into some of the hypothetical situations the Knicks are bouncing around for the future. And secondly, it will both improve Lee’s entire game and decrease his effectiveness in the short term. This decrease in effectiveness over the short term could aid the Knicks if they are looking to sign him to a deal that goes beyond 2008-2009, as he is a restricted free agent after this year. Backing Lee up will probably be Tim Thomas with a touch of Malik Rose. Malik Rose needs no introduction to most NBA fans, he is who you think he is, to paraphrase Dennis Green.

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If Danilo Gallinari can come back from back problems in a few months, he will get worked into the rotation and fill a larger role then many would assume by the end of this season, as the Knicks know he will be on the 2010 roster, and need to know what he can offer the franchise, but until that time, this is what you can expect from the Knicks.

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Final analysis: If I had all the answers as to how this Knicks team will fare going forward, I’d be on a flight to Vegas right now. But D’Antoni might have a point when he says this team will stay competitive over the short term. Remember, the Knicks are 7-6 right now, but without a lot of marquee wins. The loss of Crawford and Randolph means the Knicks have two less superstars in a superstar driven league (Yes, I called Crawford and Randolph superstars. If you disagree, chalk it up to nostalgia and homer-ism), but it also means the D’Antoni offense is going to be run more efficiently in all likelihood, as the offense has less guys who will force shots. This team can still put up some points and run bad teams out of the gym, and can still give a good team fits, but when the 4th quarter comes and you need a player to make a play, will the Knicks have that man? If I had to guess, the big shots are going to go to Robinson and Chandler down the stretch, because they are players who are in the running to be part of the Knicks future. And if the Knicks can stay competitive in the 4th against great teams, that will not only increase the stock of Robinson and Chandler as ballplayers, it will make the Knicks look better, not only for the future, but in the 2008-2009 Atlantic Division standings.

Posted on: November 25, 2008 7:02 pm
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